Wednesday, April 17, 2019

The Thing With a Thing a Week/ Meditation + 7 Minute Workout

Originally, it I figured doing any kind of a "weekly challenge" should begin on Monday.  BUT, I'm going to change that now.  And maybe I'll change it again, depending on how this works out.  Doing it on Monday somehow felt rushed.  Monday's are always busy and to recap last week's, and think up next week's thang was feeling too "chore-like", so I'm switching this up.  Because it's not intended to be a chore.  It's intended to be FUN.  And it's just for ME anyway.  So I make the rules and I can change them.  POW.

My last "Thing a Week" was to meditate on a daily basis for a week straight.  For as little as just 5 minutes a day.  Easy peasy, right?  Well, whatever.  I've done better, but I still haven't locked into a 7 day streak.  But I'm not giving up on it yet!

So this week, starting TODAY (also known as Wednesday), I'm going to continue on with the thing being to meditate a minimum of 5 minutes daily.  So far, I've been using the guided meditations on the "Insight Timer" app.  It's free, there's a big selection, and I like it.  I do the guided meditations usually, but sometime I just use the timer.

This week, I'm also going to ADD doing a daily 7-minute workout each day. Months ago, I found this app called "7", and as the name implies it's SEVEN minutes of a timed work out.  Not even long enough to make you sweaty!  But it's invigorating.  Whenever I do it, I'm super glad I did.  And the workouts, believe it or not, can be pretty challenging.  You do each prescribed exercise for 30 seconds. You roll through a lot of quick exercises in a short amount of time so it's not boring. 

Just like the mediation, I know this stuff is good for me,and I actually like doing it. There's no reason NOT to do it daily. I think the main reason I don't, is because it's not yet a habit and I often just forget my intention.

This week, I'll do it (well,... both!- the meditating and the 7 minute workout) daily, and keep a running tally that I will post here next week.  On Wednesday.  Because mid-week just feels a little easier for me to get my blogging thoughts together...

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

The Weekend Super Fun Party

This weekend, my brother Fleetwood and his dog, Deville came to visit us.

They came in on Saturday afternoon, and although they were going to leave Monday morning, we were all having so much fun, they stayed an extra day. Yay.

But that extra day didn't make him leaving any easier.  I did NOT enjoy that part.  But I LOVED all the rest of his stay here. 

We didn't really do anything out-of-the ordinary (although, we did buy a sectional!), but just having them here made everything EXTRAordinary.

More than anyone I've ever seen, Deville LOVES to eat.  Anytime we'd be eating, he has this look on his face that clearly communicates, "PLEASE put some of that in my mouth, NOW!"

He was with us when we stopped for a burger at Shake Shack and was treated so sweetly by the people who work there.  They brought him an ice cream sandwich, on the house.  It was sorta messy but very delicious.

Lucy, as usual, was sort of bossy.  Ricky felt really cool getting to hang out with his big Cousin Villy.

We went on a couple of neighborhood hikes.

 Mainly: we laughed.  And LAUGHED.  Because that's what we do when we're together.

But, as they say, all good things must come to an end. I was mopey all day after they left to drive back home on Tuesday. Our house was so quiet without him and Deville here.  Fermin had a mid-day golf date, and once he left, I understood that "empty nest syndrome" people go through when kids leave for college.  It was just me, Lucy and Ricky. Normally, I LOVE that kind of quiet time.  But yesterday, it just made me feel lonesome.  I actually worked myself up into a cry, and Fermin had to console me reminding me that we'd see Fleetwood again soon. I also texted my brother and told him how sad I felt. He said the same thing to me that Fermin did, adding that since we don't live in the same city anymore, we see each other sporadically (and not just "whenever") and for longer stretches of time, so it's actually even better.  And it is.  It's true.  Those long stretches of days together are the best.

But I guess it's like when little kids are at a party, or a friend's house playing and having a blast, and then eventually, it's time to go back home.  And they just feel sad the party's ending.  THAT's how I felt. I was not ready for our party to end.

Thankfully, I know there will be another party soon.  We agreed that we'd make a point to see each other every 6 weeks. 

I noticed Facebook is calling today "National Siblings Day".  Well, nanner nanner, Everybody.  I've got the BEST sibling anyone could have.  And I'm lucky- I'll see him again soon.❤️

Monday, April 1, 2019

A Thing a Week, Week 3: Meditation

I'm not new to meditation.  I've practiced it, I've taken classes on it, I've used phone apps to guide me, but I have a really hard time putting it into regular and consistent practice.  I always hear how good it is for me, but since it's not something I can measure, I have never really seen or noticed the benefits.

Maybe I've never stuck with it, consistently, long enough.

Because my goal each week is to always make my goal achievable, I'm going to start with this.  I'm going to meditate 5 minutes every day.  That's it.  Sounds easy, right? 

But yet, I haven't made time for that 5 minutes for 7 days in a row for probably 5 years or more!  And that motivation came from the fact that I was enrolled in a class.  It felt like homework. 

I think revisiting things again is good.  Just because it didn't stick with me that first time, doesn't mean it won't this time.  Maybe I just need a little jump start.  I know right now that I'm doing this 5 minutes for the first week, but I'll revisit this idea of meditation for many weeks to come.  And who knows, maybe it will end up being a forever daily practice. 

If meditation might possibly help with things like sleep, the way my brain ages, my anxiety, etc then isn't it worth AT LEAST 5 minutes a day?!!!!  The answers pretty obvious.  So. Here I Go.

A Thing a Week- Week 2 "Dog Tricks" Recap

Happy Monday!

Last week's THING was so much fun, I wanted to first do a recap of it, before moving on to what's my thing for this week.  This past week it was dog tricks (and playing games) with Lucy and Ricky for at least 5 minutes each day.

I found myself wondering all week, "How come I don't ALWAYS make time for this?"  It's so easy to do, and it's so fun.  And most of all, it makes my dogs HAPPY.

I was reminded just how amazing dogs are.  If you taught them a trick 5 years ago, if they're like mine, they remember it!  It may need to be tightened up a little, but they remembered all the tricks I had taught them in the past. WOW

One of the tricks they didn't quite conquer back when we first tried it (I gave up too soon!) was "shut your door"- Meaning, shut the door (by way of a bandana I've tied on to the metal) of their crate after they walking in.  Lucy seemed to almost immediately understand what I was asking for and did it after we tried just a few times the first day.  Ricky still doesn't have it 100%, but is VERY close.  He grabs it in his mouth, but doesn't yet pull it shut.  But he will! 

I have to share a very cute/funny thing Lucy did while Ricky was working on "shut your door". She had just done it, flawlessly, about 15 times in a row.  So, she was in her crate with the door shut.  But not locked...  Ricky was trying to follow the directions I was giving him, but like I said, he just hasn't quite got it yet.  So Lucy pushes through her door, makes a sneezing sound once she's out (so we will notice her) and then runs in her crate and slams her door.  She's was either encouraging Ricky or just wanted another treat herself.  (Probably both.)
Lucy, our little Show Off
 We also played games like "Hide and Seek"- which they LOVE, Lucy especially so.  Fermin even did the Hiding a few nights. Family fun. ;) I also practiced recall when we'd go out on our walks.  They LOVE running really fast to me.  Here's Ricky...
"Ready? Ricky, COME!"
and like the speed of light...
he arrives!
I'm pretty sure my dogs are even smarter now than when they were younger and I was putting more time and effort into training them.  I'm SO GLAD I took the week to re-commit to this practice. It's such a great way to bond with a dog, and to watch their brain work, which is just fascinating.  I think the trick of it all is just keeping it short, and SWEET.  I only encourage, and say "yes! good job"- ALL POSITIVE.

I think trick training is just another way to show a dog how much they are loved, so I really intend to keep this up. They are so smart they can probably learn just about anything that I can think up.  So I'm going to keep a running list of things I'd like them to learn.  And we're going to keep practicing our old tricks too.  And play old games, and learn new ones.